Aquino faces ‘wintry’ Valentine’s DayBy Doris C. Dumlao
Philippine Daily Inquirer
ZURICH – The country’s most eligible bachelor is likely to spend his birthday and Valentine’s day next month with climate as a wintry as this visit to Switzerland.
When asked whether he’ll have any date for Valentine’s day in February, President Benigno Aquino III, said: “Not at this time, so ibig sabihin niyan baka si Joshua. (That means it will likely be Joshua). Joshua is his nephew.
Neither is he expecting a date when he celebrates his 53rd birthday on Feb 8, but Joshua, the son of showbiz celebrity sister Kris Aquino, is expected to keep him company.
“Hindi ko na nga iniimbita, dumarating e. (laughter). Kaya kapag na-sense niyang wala akong kasama ng February 8 at February 14, sasabihin: Tito Noy, can I pass by?” the President said in a chat with visiting Philippine media at the sidelines of the World Economic Forum. (I don’t invite but he comes (laughter). When he senses that I will be alone on Feb. 8 and Feb. 14, he’ll say: Tito Noy, can I pass by?)
The WEF meeting was held in the highlands of Davos, a European skiing hub, during which the President had to hurdle below-zero (as low as -16 degrees) temperature. This was Aquino’s first encounter with winter since 1982, when he and his family were living in exile in Boston USA and he was the one doing the snow-shovelling at their residence.
Asked about his birthday wish, the President said he has not been celebrating his birthdays in the past years, but said maybe he would get some peace – a crisis-free day on his birthday. For that day, he wishes for time to have at least have dinner with Joshua, with his family.
“Baka puwede nakangiti kami for the duration of the dinner. Ibig sabihin noon sana walang, di ba, walang krisis na biglang umusbong na (Maybe it’s possible that we’ll all be smiling for the duration of the dinner. That means I wish there won’t be any crisis breaking out),” the President said.
But Aquino said that if a crisis were to ruin his birthday, he would have no choice but to respond. “Ganoon talaga ‘yon, may commitment ako sa bayan, may kontrata ako sa taumbayan until 2016. So ‘yung interest ko, interest ng taumbayan (It’s really like that. I have a commitment to the nation. I have a contract with the people until 2016, so my interest should be the interest of the citizenry),” he said.
Aquino also laughed off any prophecy that he would never get married.
“Sa dami naman nang kailangan kong intindihin, hindi ko na siguro dapat pag-aksayahan ng oras ‘yan (With all the things I have to focus on, maybe I shouldn’t waste time on these things,” he said.
Speaking in Filipino, Aquino said that with all due respect to those who engaged or patronized fortune-telling, his long-time principle has always been simple: when the fortune-teller says something good, it can ruin the present because one gets overeager for that prophesied day to come. But if the fortune-teller says something bad, it also ruins one’s day – and the succeeding days – because one is worried about that prediction.
“So parang, bandang dulo, ang sabi ko, ke maganda, ke pangit ‘yung ibabalita nito, parang hindi nakakatulong doon sa buhay ko ngayon. (So in the end, I said, whether good or bad, this fortune-telling won’t be helpful to my life now.”
“So sa akin, di ba, nagdadasal tayo sa Diyos. May plano siyang maganda para sa atin, ang paniniwala ko; at maharap ko ‘yung sarili ko na nagawa ko lahat nung magagawa ko, maski na ano mang pakay na kailangan kong gawin. (For me, we pray. He has good plans for me, I believe and I can present myself to Him that I’ve done all that I can, whatever His mission for me is),” he said.